Walt Disney World has seen its fair share of hurricanes and tropical storms. Thanks to this, Disney has precautions in place to keep the parks, guests, and Cast Members safe — you can read more about these here.
But, have you ever wondered about the best places to STAY during a hurricane or tropical storm in Disney World? We’ve got some tips for you here!
A Walt Disney World hotel is one of the safest places you can be when a hurricane or tropical storm hits the Orlando, Florida area. And many locals even choose to leave their homes to stay at a Disney hotel during a hurricane or tropical storm because Disney buildings are engineered to withstand winds and weather that some local area homes may not be able to handle.
The likelihood that the resorts will still have electricity, running water, and food is pretty high. And sometimes Disney will even lift their pet bans so that your furry friends can join guests while they hunker down throughout the storm. (Note that there are a few resorts that always allow pets, including Art of Animation, Yacht Club, Port Orleans Riverside, and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness.)
It’s also nice to stay at a Disney hotel during a storm because Cast Members will be there to assist guests with their every need. Disney also will do their best to create a bit of magic by bringing in characters and having fun games in the lobby. Sounds like a pretty nice place to ride out a hurricane, right?
But while all resorts will strive to take care of their guests to the best of their ability, there are a few specific attributes that some resort hotels have that make them the winners when considering your booking options during hurricane season.
Indoor Access To The Lobby, Restaurants, and Shops
If your resort room offers you safe, enclosed access routes to the hotel lobby, restaurants, and shops, that means you’ll have many more options during the storm when it comes to food, activities, and amenities than guests who have to stay cloistered in their resort hotel rooms. If your resort hotel room requires you to walk outside to get to the lobby, there will definitely be at least several hours during the storm that you won’t be able to leave your room to reach food (including room service), water, and other necessities.
This attribute would rule out most of Disney World’s value and moderate resorts, as most of them have the majority if not all of their hotel rooms in external buildings. While a few other resorts do have walkways that will give you a bit more cover when walking to the lobby, some like Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort do not.
Access To A Kitchenette or Full Kitchen in Your Resort Accommodations
Another thing to think about is possibly choosing a hotel with a kitchenette or full kitchen in the room. It’s easy to become hungry and stir-crazy during a storm, and having a fridge and some sort of microwave or other cooking option will at least give you the opportunity to stock up on a few things and have some meals while you wait for the storm to pass.
In this category, you’re looking primarily for family suites (Art of Animation and All-Star Music Resorts, neither of which are currently open as Hurricane Isaias approaches Florida) or Disney Vacation Club Villas.
If you stay in a one-bedroom or larger villa, you’ll also have access to a private laundry facility in your room. This can come in very handy, especially if the storm has required you to extend your stay a few days longer than you had anticipated. (All Disney resorts have laundry facilities available for guests, but some may not have them within indoor walking distance from your room.)
So Which Disney Resorts Could Be Great Choices During a Hurricane or Tropical Storm?
Taking into consideration the indoor access to the lobby, restaurants, and shops; and the access to a kitchen or kitchenette in your room; we think two great choices for Hurricane Season in Disney World would be Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas (note that Kidani Village is currently available and will give you access to one restaurant and a gift shop but Jambo House is currently closed), and Copper Creek Villas in the Main Building at Wilderness Lodge (note that Boulder Ridge Villas and the Copper Creek Cabins are located in external buildings).
Note that most Deluxe Disney resorts also have high-end suite options in their main buildings that may offer both indoor access to restaurants and the lobby as well as kitchenettes or kitchens.
While all Disney resort hotels will do their best to keep you safe, fed, and watered during a hurricane or tropical storm moving through Orlando, some will offer a bit more comfort than others!
Looking for updates on Hurricane Isaias? Be sure to check out the following links!
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What amenities are most important to YOU during a hurricane or storm at Disney World? Let us know!